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, 12 (2), 268-74

Patient-related Violence Against Emergency Department Nurses


Patient-related Violence Against Emergency Department Nurses

Jacqueline Pich et al. Nurs Health Sci.


In a finding that reflects international experiences, nurses in Australia have been identified as the occupation at most risk of patient-related violence in the health-care sector. A search of the literature was undertaken to explore this concept, with a focus on the emergency department and triage nurses. Significant findings included the fact that nurses are subjected to verbal and physical abuse so frequently that, in many instances, it has become an accepted part of the job. This attitude, combined with the chronic under-reporting of violent incidents, perpetuates the normalization of violence, which then becomes embedded in the workplace culture and inhibits the development of preventative strategies and the provision of a safe working environment. Nurses are entitled to a safe workplace that is free from violence under both the occupational health and safety legislation and the zero-tolerance policies that have been adopted in many countries including Australia, the UK, Europe, and the USA. Therefore, policy-makers and administrators should recognize this issue as a priority for preventative action.

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